Sunday was Banacek’s funeral. We buried him in a cardboard rabbit carrier, with his favourite toys; the chewy hemp carrot, the chewy sticks, his first cuddly rabbit (stuffy), as well as his drinking bowl. We rested him on a piece cut from his favourite blue carpet out of his bedroom, then we tucked him in with his favourite towel, the one he kept pulling under him after he got neutered. We read him the story of Snuggle Bunny, our rabbit book puppet with the adorable bedtime story (hey, I don’t judge YOUR insomnia tactics). The book still has a little nibble out of the spine from the time Banacek “investigated” it.
We dug a big hole and gently laid him in it, then covered him over with soil, it was absolutely pouring it down with rain and we fenced it off with rabbit run panels so he doesn’t get dug up by foxes. He’s next to Katie and Neville.
The cynical part of my brain observes that there is literally no room left for vegetables in the garden. I was going to put in a picture of him in his little box, but WordPress crashed when I tried to upload the picture (why didn’t they put an “add pictures” button in the ‘New Posting Experience FFS), and I had to restart the whole internet to restore this backup, so I’m going to leave it with what’s already in this post.
It’s been colder in the house since he died, and we all keep expecting him to run up and down the stairs, to hop into the living room and investigate the food situation, or to try to get into the bathroom or kitchen. The house just feels so big and empty now. It’s like the colour has just disappeared out of the whole house, and everything is much greyer and duller than it was before.
As the days have gone on, we have realized that we’d built our whole life around Banacek; everything from how we organize our day to the furniture in the house, the fact that we redecorated the living room with adhesive tiles to stop him chewing the first two feet of wallpaper, the stairgate-type barriers in the doorways of our bedroom and the bathroom, to stop him getting into danger. He had his own bedroom in the house, a room which was predominantly his giant 6′ by 6′ rabbit hutch, and his upstairs toys scattered around. Every corner of the house has a sawdust litter tray so he didn’t have to get caught short, and our Hoover is the special pet one to pick up his fur from the carpet. The kitchen is full of a variety of dry rabbit foods, toys and accoutrements that were in rotation so he never got bored, since he didn’t have an outdoor run any more (Fifer kind of stole it), and we specifically chose and modified our furniture and electricals to make a safe, accessible and stimulating environment for him. We only got Cleo to be his friend because he was getting lonely, and we worried that we’d have to cope with his grief when she died of old age, since she’s 11 and he was only 3. Before we adopted Cleo, we used to take Banacek on bunny playdates with other houserabbit owners so he could socialize with members of his own species.
Nobody really gets this, but this is definitely harder for both of us than losing the baby. I think the reaction from other people, that “meh, it was just a rabbit” response, has made it so much worse, because it’s made us realize Banacek’s profound impact and amazing presence didn’t really extend past our house. Banacek was so central to our life that not having him here to greet us, wait for us, harass us for things he doesn’t need, to give us affection, to focus our attention on, to adore and lavish with love and snuggles… All our little every-day rituals, all the songs we’d changed the words to so Banacek was the focal point, all the tiny bunny crockery for his different nibbles… He was interested in literally everything we did, and everything that he did was naturally awesome. I even started this blog so I could share the delight of Banacek with the world. And everyone who came to the house was always so taken with him; how can people be so fickle and heartless about such a wonderful bunny?
The house just feels empty. My soul feels empty. Everyone in the house feels the same right now. My Dearest explained it best this morning, when he said “I keep putting the central heating on, but I feel so cold on the inside.” The house is a balmy 16 degrees right now and I’m huddled under a blanket in my dressing gown, and I’m still freezing.
Banacek was the life and soul of the party. And now the party’s left, and we’ve just got a big empty venue to clean up, and that one sick girl to look after who drank too much.
How do you find meaning and purpose when you had it, you were happy with it, and it got taken away from you?
Now he’s gone, I’m coming up with nothing.
We’ve lost our best friend, our confidante, and our baby bunny all in one. Banacek was our world. If you think that’s hyperbolic you just didn’t know how amazing Banacek was.
I promise my next post will be something upbeat, but today I needed to tell the world about how important Banacek was.